Larry Diamond is a political scientist who has spent decades promoting democracy in dozens of countries around the world. He now feels our country is facing the most serious constitutional crisis since Watergate, and perhaps since the American Civil War.
On this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Diamond about the state of democracy in the US and the global effects of eroding democratic values. These are themes in his newest book "Ill Winds: Saving Democracy From Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency".
While Diamond says that this erosion of American democracy began long before the rise of Trump, he believes Trump is contributing to the degredation of democratic norms.
"Treating the opposition and the independent press as treasonous enemies, this is the kind of language used in authoritarian regimes, and its dragging us down towards more and more dysfunction in our democracy and abuse of power, and it doesn't have to happen."
Diamond is a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, a Professor by courtesy of political science and sociology at Stanford University, and past director of Stanford's Center on Democracy. He's the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy, and he's edited and co-edited over 50 books on democracy.